Kwita Izina (to give a name) is a famous, ancient Rwandan naming ceremony performed by the very first of our ancestors as part and parcel of the celebration and welcoming of a newborn child in the family. Tradition has it that family members who designate the name of each newborn subsequently announce the given name during the ceremony.
In analogy with their human counterparts a similar ceremony has been held for our primate(Gorillas), namely marvelous mountain gorillas born on the sides of the beautiful and luscious green hills of Rwanda. Investors, Researchers,Rangers and other conservation specialists all partake in the ceremony honoring these very unique animals in a special way.
The event is at the centerpiece of the annual celebration of Rwanda’s concerted conservation efforts in protecting the endangered mountain gorilla, whose different families have been recorded to have thrived over the years.
President Paul Kagame officiated the 13th edition of gorillas naming ceremony – Kwita Izina – in Kinigi sector, Musanze district, where this colorful ceremony gathered thousands of people including World renown celebrities and more.
President Kagame with the guests that named the baby gorillas during the Kwita Izina celebrations 2017
To-date, two hundred and thirty nine(239)mountain gorillas have been named in 12 consecutive ceremonies since the first kwita izina in 2005. Kwita Izina is fast becoming known as an Africa’s leading dialogue on conservation and tourism. This year’s kwita izina alongside the naming ceremony other celebration and activities took place such as a fundraising gala dinner,followed by a conservation and tourism exhibition and the highly acclaimed conservation on conservation dialogue forum. Hosted familiarization trips for international tour operators and media all these happened before the important part of the event for the 13th kwita izina which was held on Friday 1st sept 2017.
Participants during the Gorilla naming ceremony in Musanze 2017
This year’s kwita izina ceremony had a theme dubbed “CONSERVATION IS LIFE” where participants named 22 newly born baby gorillas by 19 naming individuals from different walks of life, namely:
Dr Stoinski, CEO Saving Gorillas, named a baby from the Titus family MACIBIRI to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Karisoke Research center;
Dr Nsengimana named a baby from the Susa family; the baby’s name is INYANGE meaning a handsome and smart creature (in this case – a gorilla);
Honorable Laurent Lamothe, Former Prime Minister of the Republic of Haiti named baby IKORANABUHANGA promoting ICT as a drive to Rwanda’s development;
We had the famous Nollyhood actress Ms Patience Ozokwor who named a baby gorilla from the Agashya family Inkesha to mean a new and rising star in the gorilla family;
Mr Andrew Muir, CEO Wildness Foundation Africa who named a baby gorilla Ubudasa which means uniqueness and difference,
Dr Winnie Kiiru from stop Ivory and Trustee Kenya wildlife named a baby gorilla Akaraza meaning ‘Welcome’;
Prof.Fischer from the University of Koblenz-Landau in Germany named a baby gorilla Isuku recognizing the cleanliness in Rwanda;
, Kayihura a representative from the Gishwati community names a baby gorilla Mudahinyuka meaning someone truthful and reliable;
Gisa Gakwisi, the young lad who made a model of the Radisson Blu and Kigali Convention Center out of clay named a baby gorilla Urungano meaning generation;
Mr Stevens the General manager One & Only Nyungwe House named a baby gorilla IMIRASIRE, highlighting Rwanda’s effort to enhance solar power energy;
Mr Greg Bakunzi, CEO Amahoro Tours & Red rocks names a baby gorilla TEMBERURWANDA encouraging people to visit and explore Rwanda;
Mr McDonald photographic tour operator& conservationist who trekked the gorillas 100 times named a baby Inkingi meaning pillar of development,
Mr.Schaefar, M.D Volkswagen South Africa named a baby Nsanganira to state that the adult female has been accepted in the new group;
Dr Laetitia Principal at the University of Rwanda CAVM named an adult female IRIBA meaning a ‘water source’;
Ms Veronica Verekova, a famous Super model& conservationist gave the name of Ubwiza translated as ‘Beauty’,
Performing artist The Ben named a baby gorilla Uruyange meaning ‘Shiny Flowers’;
Ms Chloe Bello named a gorilla baby Iyamarere meaning ‘Courageous and Enthusiastic’;
Mr Ledger M.G of Singita named a baby Gorilla Kwitonda meaning ‘Consolation’;
Mr Howard Buffet,chairman of the Howard G.Buffet Foundation named a male baby gorilla Umutware, meaning a ‘leader’.
Before officiating at Kwita Izina, President Kagame also launched the luxury Bisate lodge in musanze district. Rwanda has recently crossed to over a million tourists coming to Rwanda due to the flexible Visa processes, One can get a visa online, for Africans and some other countries you can get a visa on arrival. In a nutshell, Rwanda tourism contributes 30% of exports and service and 3% of total GDP, the number of people visiting volcanoes national park has doubled between 2010-2016 from 16,000 to nearly over 32,000 people. Tourism remains the biggest foreign exchange earner in Rwanda.
Mudahinyuka from Amahoro group named by Jean Kayihura